Big Switch Networks’ Big Cloud Fabric supports VMware NSX

Big Cloud Fabric 2.6 provides physical network visibility and operational simplicity as a cost-effective SDN underlay for VMware NSX  

ONUG, New York, NY––May 12, 2015––Big Switch Networks®, the leader in bringing hyperscale-inspired network architecture to data centers worldwide, continues its march to modernize data center networking and now brings physical network automation and visibility to a VMware-based software-defined data center. Big Cloud Fabric™ – the industry’s only open SDN fabric – is designed to transform complex and proprietary box-by-box networking with open networking switch economics. The Big Cloud Fabric 2.6 release combines physical network automation and visibility with VMware NSX™ platform’s native visibility and troubleshooting capabilities, with seamless integration with VMware vCenter Server™ to support any VMware vSphere® workload.

With Big Cloud Fabric – an SDN-based physical fabric – virtualization administrators are now able to engage with a highly responsive physical network that operates at the same pace as VM creation/deletion and VM live migration (e.g., vMotion) events. For rapid troubleshooting across virtualization and physical fabric environments, Big Cloud Fabric 2.6 also provides flow tracing across the fabric topology (source leaf switch, associated spine switch, and destination leaf switch).

The 2.6 release introduces an enhanced Fabric Analytics module that supports deep visibility of VMware VMs for network administrators, including VM and host properties, VM mobility events, and host connectivity to the Big Cloud Fabric leaf switches. Having a consistent view of virtualization environments across both virtualization and network admins allows for the rapid resolution of cross-domain issues.   

VMware NSX Support and Visibility in BCF 2.6

VMware NSX is software that virtualizes the network to deliver the entire networking and security model from L2-L7 in software. The platform decouples the network from the underlying hardware, yet takes advantage of the existing physical IP-based network infrastructure to enable new levels of service delivery agility, security, and cost reductions. While traditional box-by-box networking is an option for the physical underlay, the manual CLI-driven management and challenging workflows for underlay visibility/troubleshooting are complex and manual operations. As the simplest and most cost-effective SDN underlay, Big Cloud Fabric provides an architecture optimized  for a VMware NSX overlay network.

Specifically, Big Cloud Fabric 2.6 extends support for VMware NSX network virtualization by providing:

  • Complete NSX VM and host (Virtual Tunnel End Point or VTEP) visibility in the Big Cloud Fabric controller

  • Big Cloud Fabric Analytics extended for VMware NSX connected VMs

  • Rapid VTEP-to-VTEP trouble-shooting on Big Cloud Fabric underlay across the fabric, including source VTEP, source eaf, spine, destination leaf, and destination VTEP

Customers can benefit from operational simplicity and commodity economics of the Big Cloud Fabric SDN underlay while closing the visibility gap with NSX overlay and traditional physical switch deployments 

Advanced vSphere Integration for Network Automation and Visibility

Big Cloud Fabric 2.6 now supports advanced integration with VMware vCenter™, bringing operational simplicity and the cost advantages of bare-metal SDN to the majority of virtual workloads in the data center. The Big Cloud Fabric controller directly integrates into vCenter Server to automate network creation on the physical SDN fabric. Unlike legacy box-by-box approaches where each box needs to interact with vCenter, the Big Cloud Fabric controller becomes a single point of integration with vCenter for the entire 16-rack leaf-spine Clos fabric, significantly simplifying programmatic interactions across virtual and physical networks. With Big Cloud Fabric, the physical network can now be provisioned at the speed of virtualization.

Specific capabilities of the Big Cloud Fabric/vCenter integration include:

  • Auto host detection and link aggregation (LAG) formation

  • Auto L2 Network creation and VM learning

  • Network policy migration for vMotion/DRS events

  • Flow/policy troubleshooting across multi-switch BCF fabric

  • VM visibility, including VM mobility, directly through the BCF controller GUI

  • Fabric Analytics extended for VMware vCenter Server


Big Cloud Fabric 2.6 – shipping and available today – includes advance vSphere integration, Fabric Analytics for VMware vSphere, and support for VMware NSX. 


  • Big Cloud Fabric 2.6 software is licensed on a per-switch subscription basis

  • Existing Big Cloud Fabric customers can upgrade to 2.6 without any additional cost

  • Big Switch offers $39K and $99K Big Cloud Fabric starter kits, inclusive of HW switches, SW, support and cables/optics, for interconnecting up to 80 compute nodes

To Learn More

Please attend our Big Cloud Fabric 2.6 launch webinar scheduled for May 20 by registering here. Also, sign up for BSN Labs to give BCF 2.6 a free, trial run-through.

Supporting Quotes

“Big Cloud Fabric is an ideal SDN underlay for VMware NSX – delivering on the promise of open networking, network agility, and operational simplicity,” said Douglas Murray, CEO, Big Switch. “NSX on Big Cloud Fabric offers a next-generation approach to SDN that removes legacy visibility constraints and will accelerate network virtualization adoption.”


“VMware NSX is the leading network virtualization platform that delivers network automation, agility, and increased flexibility for customers on the journey to the software-defined data center,” said Hatem Naguib, vice president, networking and security at VMware. “Big Cloud Fabric as an SDN underlay for VMware NSX offers customers choice, compelling bare-metal economics, and enhanced virtual and physical network visibility.”

Infonetics Research, now part of IHS Inc.

“The unification of the SDN underlay (physical switching) with the SDN overlay (virtual switching) is an imperative to meeting customer requirements for automation and agility in the data center,” said Cliff Grossner Ph.D., Research Director, Infonetics Research, now part of IHS Inc. “Big Switch’s fabric leveraging bare-metal switching integrated with VMware’s NSX is a powerful combination delivering a game changing solution with compelling economics.”

Net One

“Big Switch's Big Cloud Fabric provides a unique SDN underlay for VMware NSX,” said Fumihiko Shinoura, Chief Marketing Officer, Net One. “In our lab testing we saw that NSX running on Big Cloud Fabric removed any visibility gaps between the virtual network and the underlying network. The operational simplicity of NSX and Big Cloud Fabric, with the reduced capital expenditure of bare-metal switch hardware is a compelling SDN solution for our customers to consider." 

Helpful Links


About Big Switch Networks

Big Switch Networks is the market leader in bringing hyperscale data center networking technologies to a mainstream datacenter audience. The company is taking three key hyperscale technologies – OEM/ODM bare metal and open Ethernet switch hardware, sophisticated SDN control software, and core-and-pod data center designs – and leveraging them in fit-for-purpose products designed for use in enterprises, cloud providers, and service providers. The company’s Big Tap Monitoring Fabric is a feature-rich solution to monitor existing networks, and Big Cloud Fabric is the industry’s most advanced bare-metal switching fabric intended for new data center pods such as private cloud, big data, and VDI. For additional information, email, follow @bigswitch, or visit

Big Switch Networks, Big Cloud Fabric, Big Tap, Switch Light OS, and Switch Light vSwitch are trademarks or registered trademarks of Big Switch Networks, Inc. All other trademarks, service marks, registered marks, or registered service marks are the property of their respective owners.

About VMware

VMware, vSphere, vCenter  and VMware NSX are registered trademarks or trademarks of VMware, Inc. in the United States and other jurisdictions. The use of the word “partner” or “partnership” does not imply a legal partnership relationship between VMware and any other company.